The second year of Kodiak Strong Planning Day brings promise for new community developments in 2017.
The kick-off event last year gathered locals together to decide on goals to work toward. They ended up choosing three: a housing assistance program, a food co-op, and downtown business and cultural events.
Event organizer and Healthy Tomorrows coordinator, Merissa Koller Williams, says the housing idea, called Housing First, did not work out.
“At the time there was the Jackson Trailer Park issue and then, of course, we have the ongoing issue of the homeless population in the community and not really having a feasible way to alleviate either of those issues, really, they kind of got lumped into this idea which was originally supposed to be a template that was being used around the nation.”
She says the plan eventually fizzled in part due to that division in issues.
As for the committee that gathered to work on the business and culture initiative downtown…
“That group didn’t necessarily have a whole lot of momentum or energy after the planning day. It ended up really coming to be because a community member had reached out to me saying, hey, Sutliff’s is really interested in having a little farmer’s market in their parking lot. So from there that grew into a weekly event that has on average fifty or twenty vendors.”
The third idea, a food co-op, is currently ongoing.
Koller Williams says the action group is in the process of doing a feasibility study to see if they can make a full-service grocery store work in town financially. They are also trying to build membership to fund the co-op, and so far have about a hundred members.
This year’s planning day will be similar in format to last year, and will again use a facilitator as an unprejudiced guide for those involved. The event will be Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Kodiak College. You can register here.